Why I’m Making a fuss about Hubbub!
It’s no secret that I love fresh organic vegetables, locally produced organic meat and other fine food, including my absolute favourite – artisan cheeses.
Even though I live in London, within a few hundred yards of one of London’s most up-and-coming food markets, Broadway Market, and lots of small , caring, artisan food shops, I still struggle to do my food shopping in as much depth and detail as I would like.
The shops and suppliers are there of course – there isn’t much you can’t buy in London if you put your mind to it – but finding the time to visit them, in person or on line, is often difficult. It’s true, most suppliers, even small artisan food shops, do have an online presence these days but arranging a delivery for a pound of sausages, even sublimely good sausages, is just not cost-effective in most cases. I’m completely OK in that department, by the way, as I am fortunate enough to live close to what is, in my opinion, one of London’s best organic butchers, Hill and Szrok who trade from a shop on Broadway Market 6 days a week, not just on market days, (Saturday only at present). Not only that, in the evenings the large butchers block used by butcher Tom Richardson-Hill becomes a large sharing table on which diners can enjoy chef Alex Szrok’s superb “cookhouse” preparation of their finest meats – this is one you definitely should not miss, (unless you are a vegetarian, in which case, you probably should).
So you should be able to understand why I was so pleased to hear about a service called Hubbub; recently launched by Marisa Leaf, a former human rights barrister and fellow food enthusiast. Her reasons for forming Hubbub echo those problems I have outlined above – you can live close to some of the UK’s finest food suppliers but if you don’t have time to go to them they may as well not be there.
So what then, is Hubbub? The answer is, “Hubbub is the solution to the problem of loving London, loving fine foods and never having enough time to enjoy either properly.”
Hubbub is a food delivery service that is different from even the very best supermarket delivery service – in fact a recent article in the London Evening Standard described Melissa as the “woman who is taking on Ocado with local produce”. After having logged on to the Hubbub website, you can choose from over 15,000 products offered by over 100 independent food shops, ordering just what you need from as many or as few of them as you want and Hubbub will collate your order, collect it and ship it to you in one of their 10+ vans.
The choice is wide and the quality is superb. You can get everything from organic vegetables, including fresh organic veg boxes, organic meat and chocolate, fresh pasta, organic (and non-organic) cheeses and a number of very specialised niche suppliers including Yumchaa – loose teas and infusions, the “Portabello Mushroom Man” and the wonderfully named “Sweet Cheesus” who make and supply mini cheesecakes worthy of your special attention.
My love of cheese is well catered for with such worthy establishments as “La Cave à Fromage” and “La Fromagerie” both offering plenty of choice quality cheeses but the real test, the one which cannot be compromised on, is the availability of a really good pork pie. I can take a long walk around my beloved Hackney, including Broadway Market, and struggle to find one of those, (there are a few stalls on market day that have them but, for the rest of the week, zilch). Hubbub, however, has solved that particular problem with a nice, but not yet wide, choice of speciality pork pies including the “pork pie with black pudding and caramelised onions” offered by butchers “Ginger Pig“. I haven’t tried that yet but it’s on my list.
I’m not sure that Ocado will be too worried yet – there are too many reasons why people, including a very guilty me, will still have to use their services, not least of which because Melissa is never going to be able to supply everything I need, even if she wanted to. But when it comes to fresh organic vegetables, meat and other artisan and locally produced fine foods I think she’s on to a winner and I encourage you to give Hubbub a try – they are even offering free delivery on your first order.